Saturday, May 21, 2016

How to Build a Capsule Wardrobe 1 Piece at a Time: Beige and Brown, for Leisure

You wanted to see a leisure wardrobe in warm colors? Here it is....

I found that I could stick exclusively to shades of brown, tan, and cream and put together a really nice, workable capsule wardrobe. The accessories (which will be here on Monday!) are going to have a big impact on this very subtle collection.

I started with a simple beige column (although the tee shirt has a bit of a stripe) and found a cardigan that contained all of the shades that I wanted to consider:

Tee – Uniqlo; pants – Uniqlo; cardigan – L.L. Bean

The gold is included here as a very clear hint about accessories:

Tee – Uniqlo; pants – Uniqlo; cardigan – L.L. Bean

With warm weather coming (theoretically, where I live!), I thought that a light-colored top would be a good starting point. This top could of course have short sleeves, or 3/4 sleeves:

Tank - Uniqlo

Hoods and zippers equal casual, and I think this is a gorgeous cardigan in a beautiful color!

Cardigan – L.L.Bean

As always, shorts are optional, and can easily be replaced by a skirt, capris, pedal pushers, clam diggers, or any other strangely named garment for the bottom half of your body!

Shorts – L.L.Bean

No matter how hot it gets, some places will still experience cool evenings, for which a snuggly sweater is perfect. If you don't need anything this warm, you can always consider something in linen or cotton, or even a top with shorter sleeves.

Sweater – Vince

I'm a one-woman fan club for the hooded sweatshirt; sometimes it's just the right touch of warmth and leisure.

Sweatshirt – L.L.Bean

Jeans come in any color you can imagine, if you're willing to look long enough to find them!

Jeans – J. Crew

I love printed and patterned tops. This one is a true budget-buster, but it's so pretty that I included it just so you could see it! Realistically, you might want to continue to look around for something that costs less than an international plane ticket!

tee - Etro

Stripes are always a good choice when you want to mix colors in an outfit. Happily, this tee shirt is a little bit less... ruinous...

Tee – Mint Velvet

Another pair of jeans, in a darker beige. There's nothing wrong with having at least a couple of pair of jeans, especially if they are different colors and can contribute a different look to your wardrobe.

Jeans – Coldwater Creek

I wear button-front shirts all the time, and so I'm often going to include one in a wardrobe:

shirt – Lareida

This cardigan is so perfect for this wardrobe! The combination of so many different shades makes it very easy to combine with any pair of pants or jeans we have chosen so far.

Cardigan – Lands’ End

It's not a skort, but it's about as casual as a skirt can get and still be called a skirt:

Skirt – J. Crew Factory

And I'm really liking the way that a tunic offers a change of pace and a relaxed outfit option to these casual wardrobes!

tunic - L.L.Bean

This came together really well, I think... 

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  1. This wardrobe makes me feel so chilled out and relaxed just looking at it- very classy. Would you also be interested in doing a version of the leisure look in deep and dark- but not black? Thanks as always for your inspiration.

  2. This is an excellent basic wardrobe for those of us who prefer warm colors. Best of all, should one wish to add an accent color, just about any choice would work. I'm looking forward to seeing the accessories on Monday!

  3. Janice,
    A great basic wardrobe for us "warmies " ! I guess the very fact that the lovely floral tee is advertised publicly means that someone has both that kind of money, and the willingness to part with it , in order to purchase at that level of cost ! Yowza ! I want to snuggle in that hooded sweatshirt from LL Bean today -- rainy here again. I'm so glad to see offerings other than in navy blue for casual wear in the Summer !

  4. Thirty years ago I bought a similar L.L. Bean patterned cotton sweater (red) and have worn it so much, always getting compliments and asked where I got it. It is still in great condition. Talk about return-on-investment! I'm seriously considering ordering this one you selected in the first core. Beautiful warm colors in this post.

  5. Thank you, you always make it look so easy. This is very helpful and somehow I find it easier to follow when the colors are more in my comfort zone. The Etro "t-shirt' is crazy expensive and is wool too, but it is an excellent model to guide a person to what to look for.

    Deb from Vancouver

  6. As much as I loved the previous colors...these colors are the ones that complement my coloring. Again, I see the elements of a wonderful leisure wardrobe guiding my wardrobe redo! With the sophisticated tone on tone coloring here, I can see how accessories can make this wardrobe feel more or less seasonal as the weather changes. Pops of color that would be so easy to change as the weather changes or mood strikes.

    My only concern would be my messy many light colors...I wonder how long I could keep everything accident/stain free!

    Thanks for this...I'll be referring to these past few days for months to come.

  7. This post could easily combine with yesterday's blues and pinks for a complete Spring/ Summer wardrobe !

    1. Spot on, Shrebee! And wouldn't that Etro t-shirt fit in beautifully ... I see it's now 'limited availability' so I guess we've all rushed out to order one ;)
      Still, it's a lovely reminder to look out for pretty things in the affordable range - it doesn't always have to be stripes and polka dots. Food for thought for the home sewers when looking at fabrics too. I often envy the patchworkers their pretty florals but somehow their cottons don't drape so well in garments.
      Robyn in Tasmania

    2. You are so right that quilting cotton doesn't exactly produce a beautifully draped garment. The good new is that a lot of fabrics being designed by quilters these days are being produced in lovely fabrics such as double gauze, linen, and cotton knit. - nancyo

  8. Lovely, logical, "leisure" grouping! These are great basics leaning toward taupe rather than camel, (which is good for me). Thank you for inspiring our everyday clothing as well as our "work" clothing. Working from home gives you a new perspective I think.

  9. I love the Etro top, so I clicked on the link to see just how "ruinous" it is....and I had to laugh when the result came up on "Farfetch" because it's truly farfetched to dream of buying it :-) I never mind when you include goodies like this; once in a while it's something I might actually splurge on and, if not, it's good to see in principle anyway.

  10. Could You please aseble a wardrobe with light lavander. I'm obsessed with this color lately, I even bought few garments for this spring-summer, but I find quite hard to pick sutinig colors.

  11. This wardrobe is beautiful! I love the tone on tone aspect. I too worry about my messy factor. LOL! I would love this but I have so MUCH black that is perfectly good..... Maybe I could start replacing some of the black with these tones as necessary. What I would really like is to wake up 50 pounds lighter and need a whole new wardrobe! Hey, a girl can dream! :)